The Glenn Beck solution: turn to God. It is not so easy.

Do you believe in God? Every time I answer the question honestly I lose friends. Still I tell the truth: I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in the evolution either. I just believe we don’t have enough knowledge to know the world yet.

If you are still reading, I appreciate your tolerance.

Glenn Beck’s answer to America’s troubles is turning to God. Where does it leave us: the non believers? Beck’s solution reminds me of my godmother, who is a nun in an Eastern Orthodox Monastery on the Balkans.

When I visited her she answered every question I had with: you have to believe, you have to have faith, and you have to pray. That was the only answer to everything. She and Glenn Beck could be soul-mates.

She sensed it is hard for me to believe so she tried to teach me something simple: Just try to be good and keep praying ‘Lord forgive my sins’. That was kind of a ‘safety net’ advice she came-up with while trying to save my lost soul.

I think this is the answer: just be good. Do not lie, do not cheat, do not envy, do not steal, do not kill,  respect your parents, do not idolize people, repent your sins and try to be good.

Does it really have to be in the name of God? Or just for goodness sake.

Mike Huckabee often says that if we agree on 7-8 things out of 10 – we still can be friends. Can God be one of the things we disagree on?

Half of the Americans don’t even agree on ‘do not kill’ and support abortions. How hard is it to make us agree on 7-8 things for our own good and the good of the nation?

As a kid in the communist Eastern Europe I was thought in school that the religion is opium for the masses. Much like President Obama said: those bitter people who cling to their religion.

I learned the story of the Creation from a Russian edition of the caricatures of Jean Effel. Those were hilarious, but not exactly the original source.

Although my parents were not religious they did everything possible to educate me and my sister and gave us a broad view on the world. The Orthodox Church had a crucial role in preserving the Bulgarian culture during the hundreds of years of Ottoman enslavement. We grew up with respect for religion as a cultural phenomenon.

I was 13 when I was baptized by accident.

Mom and dad took me and my sister on vacation to the mountains. There in the heart of the Balkans is the Troyan Monastery. At the time people were able to rent rooms in the monastery for vacations. We had great time hiking the hills, swimming in the river, eating shish kebab in the nearby restaurants and observing the paintings of the 17th century church.

Nuns and monks from all over Bulgaria gathered at the monastery for the day of Holy Mother of God.  A young nun met my sister and when she figured it out that the kid is not baptized she asked my parents for permission to do it. Mom and dad thought it is a good idea and that summer my sister and I were baptized. The nun became our godmother.

She sent us the New Testament first. It was interesting. Jesus was a fascinating (to quote President Obama) ‘historical person’, I thought. Greek mythology however was much more fun to read.

If you are still here: I am trying to be honest.

Many people of faith gave it a try to help me believe in God. From my orthodox nun godmother to Jehovah Witnesses recruiter, to Baptist bible study with coffee and muffins group, to yoga class pamphlets, to Muslim friends. Many evolution teachers failed to convince me either.

So how do stubborn non-believing folks like me can help America? I would go with ‘decency, honesty, charity’. That might work…

6 Responses to “The Glenn Beck solution: turn to God. It is not so easy.”

  • oldmomster:

    I can commiserate with you. having been brought up catholic (14 years of private school) I found myself as an adult in a dispute with the pope about who exactly could see the face of God. That made me wonder if indeed there was one, and who He belonged to.

    My feelings these days can be summed up: I may not believe in Him (note the capital) but the further we get from including God in the politics of the country, the closer we get to communism.

    Making man the top dog on the totem pole of life just seems ridiculous – but a white-bearded fellow sitting on a cloud passing judgment on his creations seems as silly. I’m reminded of a comment on a comedy show – a young woman dragged to church by her mother every year confessed she didn’t understand a deity that took attendance.

    So, be good, be fair, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In the long run, I believe the people who are going to save the country are the ones who spend Sunday morning in a building confessing to a supreme being that they are thankful for their spouse, their children, and the good life they enjoy. I aim to find a religion I can live with, and at least make a decent attempt at interacting with people who do not believe that piercing a baby’s skull moments before it’s born is merely a matter of ‘choice’.

  • Thomas:

    Dear Ellie,

    If there is no G*d how can anyone know what good is? By what standard? And all is for naught (no after life) why bother?

    Perhaps you should pray to the Lord that he reveal Himself to youand move you where you need to be to learn the truth. Jesus said if you seek the truth you will find it. Drop you notions of the world and pray for the truth.

    Praying for your answers,

  • oldmomster, beautifully said. I respect the US Constitution and the right of people to believe in God. I am honestly happy that the Constitution restricts the politicians.

    Thomas, I promise I will not stop seeking the truth. I am afraid I believe people often perceive falsehoods for truth and don’t see the truth even if we stumble upon it.

  • langoley:

    As Glenn Beck said on O’erilly’s show tonight,one of his best friends,Penn Gillette is an athiest,bet he understands SELF CONTROL and that would be an equal to the 10 commandments for an athiest.It it not that you MUST believe in the Judeo-christian beiiefs,Beck had all manner of religous leaders with him on Saturday including Imams.Even if you are an athiest,you can use self control and self reliance,and not depend on the government,or others to tell you how to regulate your thoughts and actions,we all should KNOW how to do this without being told!!!If I recall that was the “just” of what he said. We don’t need the government to tell us how to think,and how to act,just look to god,allah,or if you are an athiest,look to your up-bringing,we all KNOW how to act right WITHOUT being told by the government.

  • Interesting post. I am also a conservative atheist, although I happen to be in the academic mainstream from a science perspective.
    I too, would go with the idea of “decency, honesty, charity” being useful tools. However, I would apply these tools equally across the entire spectrum of the human experience, including science and philosophy. For me, intellectual honesty, coupled with moral courage is what led me to atheism in the first place, albeit over a long period of time. It didn’t happen overnight.
    You are not convinced that evolution is the most likely explanation for the diversity of life on this planet. Coming from an atheist, I find this disturbing, as well as fascinating.
    As I am in the process of writing a book on the subject, I’m extremely interested in understanding how your “many evolution teachers” failed in their attempts to adequately explain evolution. The more perspectives I am exposed to, the better. Everyone has a story to tell.
    I can be reached at:

  • I agree the species are evolving and the useful attributes has better chance to survive into next generations. However I am skeptical that this is the whole story.

    I doubt we have gathered enough knowledge to claim this is the whole story.

    I would like to see the following experiment performed:

    Let’s assume that people came up with technology in the future to synthesize the exact copy of a human (let’s say we have computers so powerful that we can produce a model of the stricture of a whole human body) – not cloned, but synthesized.

    Like Bugs Bunny carrot machine – put the stuff and a carrot comes out. Put the material in a machine and synthesize a human. If all the material structure is an exact copy will it be the same human? Will it have the same memory, the same thinking, the same emotions, the same personality?

    Will a 100% copy of the material structure bring 100% of the behavior and mind attributes?

    This experiment should convince the world: it is a material world.

    But then: if we can be synthesized may be somebody just synthesized us?

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